Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira swept to a record-breaking victory in the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico today.
His five-under-par final round of 67 ensured that he finished four shots clear of runner-up Luis Carrera of Mexico on a 23-under-par total of 265, which breaks the 72-hole Championship record of 273 set by Joaquin Niemann in 2018.
The 22-year-old, who celebrates his birthday tomorrow, is the second Argentinian to lift the trophy after Abel Gallegos triumphed in 2020.
With his win, he has earned an invitation to the 2023 Masters Tournament, an exemption for the first time into the US Open at The Los Angeles Country Club and an exemption for The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool, where his compatriot Roberto De Vicenzo famously lifted the Claret Jug in 1967.
“I'm still very shocked. I think my life has changed,” said Fernandez de Oliveira. “I'm looking forward to a great year. I'm going to take advantage of the three opportunities that I've been given for winning this event. So I'm very happy and I just want to enjoy every second of it.”
Fernandez de Oliveira opened up his final round with a birdie only to give a shot back with a bogey at the 3rd. That was the only blemish on his card for the remainder of the round and he picked up three further shots with birdies at the 4th, 6th and 9th holes.
Despite pressure from Carrera, who at one point narrowed the gap to only two shots, Fernandez de Oliveira remained calm and rolled in consecutive birdies at the 11th and 12th.
A string of pars on the way home ensured a memorable victory for the University of Arkansas student, who volunteered as a scoreboard carrier in the first ever playing of the Championship at Pilar Golf in 2015.